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When I undertook to write a comedy, I confess I was strongly prepoffeffed in favour of the poets of the last age, and strove to imitate them. The term, genteel comedy, was then unknown amongst us, and little more was desired by an audience, than waiure and humour, in whatever walks of life they were poit confpicuous. The author of the following scenes never imagined that more would be expected of him, and therefore to delineate character has been his principal aim. Those who know any thing of composition, are sensible, that in pursuing humour, it will fometimes lead us into the recesses of the mean ; I was even tempted to look for it in the master of a spunging-house: but in deference to the public taste, grown of late, perlaps, 100 delicate ; the scene of the bailiffs was retrenched in the representation. In deference also to the judgment of a few friends, who think in a particular way, the scene is here restored. The author fubnits it to the reader in
and hopes that too much refinement will not banish humour and character from ours, as it has already done from the French theatre. Indece the French comedy is now become so vay elevated and lentimental, that it has not only banished humour ard Moliere from the stage, but it has banished all spectators
Upon the whole, the author returns his thanks to the public for the favourable reception which the GoodNatur'd Man has met with : and to Mr. Colman in particular, for his kindness to it. It may not also be improper to assure any, who shall hereafter write for the theatre, that merit, or fupposed merit, will ever be a fufficient paffport to his protection.